Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Not sure about this advice from counsellor

(37 Posts)
TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:38:05

DH and I have been in counselling for a number of months. We have a good relationship with the counsellor. During the process we've identified that I have some PTSD relating to birth trauma (and there is still some physical damage which I'm trying to get fixed) and I've been having some solo counselling to deal with that. Early on DH said that one of his issues is the lack of intimacy/sex between us.

Recently the counsellor (female) has been really pushing me on it. She's given me "homework" which basically amounts to forcing myself to have sexual contact with my DH, whether I want to or not. She thinks that making him "feel like a man" will improve our relationship. I would have to force myself because there are lots of unresolved issues day to day for me that mean I don't really see DH that way (and I certainly don't feel much attraction to him). blush

Just can't help but think that the "grin it and bear it" advice is a bit 1950s housewife. Has anyone any thoughts on this?

AnyFucker Thu 12-May-16 19:39:26

I would not be happy with that

"Make him feel like a man" hmm

Fuck that shit

KacieB Thu 12-May-16 19:40:14

Well ... I think (for want of a better word) that "forcing" yourself to do something can be a good way of getting over something ... It's habit forming and it probably helps build new mental connections.

But bollocks to it being "to make him feel like a man"!

Rarity75 Thu 12-May-16 19:40:52

Omg could not read that and run. Absolutely not!
If anything try to reconnect with your sexual self (on your own). But no way 'force yourself' to make him feel like a man!! Ffs really shock
Is this counsellor trained in sexual issues??

kittybiscuits Thu 12-May-16 19:41:21

That is so far out of order OP that I don't know where to start.

Fourormore Thu 12-May-16 19:41:52

I think sometimes, just "doing it" can be the solution but I feel very strongly that you have the right to say no.

That sounds horrendous and totally inappropriate advice to me! (Note - not an expert here!)

One thing that strikes me though - why is it all about your H and how he feels/ his needs? What happens about addressing your issues etc?

Penfold007 Thu 12-May-16 19:43:32

This is a BACP counsellor? I'm stunned- no way should you do that unless it's actually what you want to do

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:44:26

It hasn't all been about this issue. I've found the solo counselling extremely helpful (although it's brought up a lot of other issues that need dealing with).

I'm just finding the forcefulness about it a bit hard to handle.

Rarity75 Thu 12-May-16 19:45:26

Most people in your position needing to reconnect regarding intimacy are usually ime advised to connect with each other in a non sexual way. Communication, shared time etc leading to shared massage of non sexual areas etc. A slow build up to being fully intimate.

Please research some one you can see with more experience in this area. Don't feel under pressure to perform.

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:45:57

Yes, she's BACP.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 12-May-16 19:48:40

You need to stop seeing that counsellor, right away. Anyone who advises you to have sex against your will in order to please someone else is a dangerous imbecile and should be avoided at all costs.

WriteforFun1 Thu 12-May-16 19:49:21

sounds like a crock of shit.

Behooven Thu 12-May-16 19:52:56

I think she is overreaching her remit. I work with counsellors and what you are saying here just doesn't chime with what I hear from them about their role. Would you be able to ask for another opinion?

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:53:19

She's not pushing me to have sex. It's probably not physically possible for me at the moment. She's wanting me to initiate other activities between DH and I. I feel that we've started getting on together for the first time in years but I just don't really fancy him at the moment. I feel it would be really false. She's stressed that I don't have to have penetrative sex, but that I should be doing other activities and that making him feel good will improve the relationship further.

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:54:12

It's probably been the best part of 3 years since we had any sexual contact. blush

Behooven Thu 12-May-16 19:54:45

And what about making you feel good, isn't that important?

TimeforaNNChange Thu 12-May-16 19:55:27

I agree with rarity - in fact some of the highest regarded relationship
Counsellors in the USA set couples 'platonic' homework (eg go for a walk holding hands, share details of your day with each other, watch a movie sat next to each other, have a photo shoot together) with the specific requirement that the couple dont have sex.
Apparently, a lot of couples end up cheating because they reconnect and one thing leads to another naturally.

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 19:55:52

She wants him to make me feel good. I just don't really want him to do that! (Don't see myself as a sexual being since becoming a hugely overweight mum.)

TimeforaNNChange Thu 12-May-16 19:57:29

Oh, and just to add, those same counsellors don't equate intercourse with sex. They define the act of Dec as sharing intimate, mutually arousing time together.

TimeforaNNChange Thu 12-May-16 19:57:58

*sex

dreame Thu 12-May-16 20:04:32

Don't do anything and bring it up at your next session (if you have one). If you've an otherwise good relationship with her, it could be beneficial to double check that there's not a misunderstanding. If there's not then stop seeing her. And I'd report to BACP too.

PTSD from birth trauma relates to not having control over your body in some way (many ways for this to manifest) so to suggest to essentially ignore what your body (and mind) are telling you for someone else to be happy is seriously wrong.

And that's before everything else that's wrong, if there's no misunderstanding.

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 20:18:48

She asked me a few sessions ago to try and remember the things I was most attracted to when DH and I got together. I haven't been asked to tell her, but the list was:

* lived a long way apart so seeing each other was special
* used to do thoughtful things to surprise me
* used to talk about interesting things
* used to pursue our own interests
* could do what we wanted when we wanted

Things have changed over the years. I find there's no mystery when you've lived together for 14 years. He "forgets" mother's day, my birthday etc. He/we don't have so much time to talk about interesting things. He pursues his interests, I don't really have any anymore. I'm not working now so our income is limited. We can't just drop everything.

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to fancy him now. sad

TerrorOnTheTower Thu 12-May-16 20:20:23

We're working through the PTSD and I'm becoming more desensitised to what happened. But I don't feel it's fixed enough to make this leap.

Fourormore Thu 12-May-16 20:20:27

I'd do as dreame said. I'd also ask her whether she's had any specific trauma training. It's not compulsory training - most counselling training doesn't include trauma.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now